© Ioanna Sakellaraki, Aletheia (unconcealement), from the series the truth is in the soil, 2020

Ioanna Sakellaraki (born 1989) is a Greek photographer based between London and Brussels. She was awarded the Spectrum Photographic Grant in the judging for this issue of Photography+. 

Her work The Truth is in the Soil is an exploration of traditional Greek funerary rituals, and specifically of the contextualisation of new mechanisms of death through language, images and feelings in contemporary Greece. At the same time, it is a work about grief, a way to come to terms with the death of her father. 

© Ioanna Sakellaraki, Aletheia (unconcealement), from the series the truth is in the soil, 2020
© Ioanna Sakellaraki, Thia Metamorfosis (holy transfiguration), from the series the truth is in the soil, 2019

In attempting to work through her grief, Sakellaraki ended up on a journey through remembrance and memory loss. ‘To me, these images work as vehicles for mourning perished ideals of vitality, prosperity and belonging,’ she explains. Sakellaraki’s intention was for the images to express ‘something further than their subjects by creating a space where death can exist’. She intensifies this tangible sense of separation by blending the real with the imaginary. There is no foreground and no background – the images are removed from three-dimensionality. The human figure depicted opens the images up to the outside world, functioning as a transition between the tendency to shy away from death and the establishment of a new, more open relationship with the end that everyone eventually meets.

Ioanna Sakellaraki received an MA from the Royal College of Art in London.

© Ioanna Sakellaraki, Clotho (the spinner), from the series the truth is in the soil, 2020
© Ioanna Sakellaraki, Blood of Adonis (death and rebirth), from the series the truth is in the soil, 2018
© Ioanna Sakellaraki, Apate (deceit), from the series the truth is in the soil, 2020
© Ioanna Sakellaraki, Anaplekte (quick, painful death), from the series the truth is in the soil, 2018
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